Homelessness and rough sleeping

Rough sleeping

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough in our area, let us know by:

You can also report a rough sleeper through Street Link, a national website that sends alerts to the local authority.

We will quickly try to locate the person to provide practical advice and gain an understanding of their personal situation, to identify if they are eligible for assistance and their potential accommodation options.

Regular street outreach

Each week, we undertake outreach sessions (early morning or late at night) to find and engage with people who are sleeping rough in the area. The areas covered will be based on reports received from the public, partner agencies or well-known sleep sites to try and encourage any rough sleepers found to access support.

Our priority is to engage with rough sleepers as soon as possible to help reduce the time spent out on the streets and gain their trust to ensure they receive the help they need.

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

We help rough sleepers being helped off the streets to access accommodation and support as quickly as possible, regardless of weather conditions.

Extreme weather (including extreme heat) increases the risk of death or serious illness to people who sleep rough and is the reason why the Council has a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in place.

This is as an extra layer of assistance to ensure anyone not engaging with the support available or any new rough sleepers have access to shelter during periods of extreme weather.

If the council are not able to provide you with temporary accommodation because you are not deemed to be in priority need, there are night shelters available which you we can refer you to or you can approach directly for accommodation.
  • Sanctuary - Night Shelter 

    60 High Street South
    NN10 0QX

    Telephone: 01933 353946
    Email: [email protected] 
  • Midland Heart: High Street South Project is a supported accommodation scheme that helps single people who are homeless with accommodation and support. You can self-refer or speak to your Housing Options Advisor who can refer you to this scheme.

    Telephone: 0845 850 1020
    Extension number: 5947/5948
    Email: [email protected]
  • Accommodation Concern provide advice and support for anyone that is homeless or threatened with homelessness.

    Telephone: 01536 416560
    Email: [email protected]
  • Daylight Centre is a drop-in centre for homeless people and other vulnerable adults. They provide a number of services such as pre-tenancy, resettlement and tenancy sustainment support, support around life skills, meaningful occupation and employment. Showers, and affordable clothing, referrals to a local food bank. They also can provide lunch, tea and coffee as well as access to phones, computers and the internet.

    Address: Daylight Centre Fellowship, Queens Hall, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 4JU
    Telephone: 01933 446490
  • Amicus Trust supports homeless individuals, often with complex needs, by providing accommodation and support tailored to the needs of the individual.

    Telephone: 01234 358478
    Email: [email protected]


You don't have to be sleeping on the streets or not have a roof over your head to be considered homeless. Most people who are legally homeless are not on the streets.

There are many situations where the council must accept you are homeless and may have a legal duty to help you with housing.

For example:

  • You are at risk of violence or abuse where you are living. This can be from a partner, ex-partner or family member, or someone in your area. The council may ask you to provide details of the incidents. Evidence is helpful but the council will not turn you away if you haven’t reported to police.
  • You don't have 'a roof over your head' ie you are street homeless
  • You are at risk of losing your home
  • You cannot afford to stay where you are
  • Your accommodation is very temporary
  • You are staying with friends or 'sofa surfing'
  • You have been locked out or illegally evicted
  • Your accommodation is in very poor condition
  • You cannot live together with your partner or close family
  • You have nowhere to put your houseboat or caravan

If one or more of these apply, you may be eligible for help from the council.

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless within the next 56 days, please contact Housing Options on 0300 126 3000. We offer free information and advice to anyone who is homeless or worried about becoming homeless.

We will give you advice based on your personal circumstances.

We can let you know what support is available to help you to stay in your own home. If that is not an option, then we can offer you help to find a different home.

Public authorities can contact us under the Duty to Refer.

Not everybody is eligible for assistance, therefore we will assess your circumstances based on the following criteria to see if we can offer you further advice and support.
  • you must normally live in the UK long-term and not be subject to immigration control
  • you must be homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days

If you meet these criteria, you can make a homeless application. This means that you are telling the council you are homeless or at risk of homelessness and need assistance. By law, you must be allowed to make this application on the day you contact to the council.

The council will make an appointment for you to be interviewed by a Housing Options Officer. This will be the same day if you have nowhere to stay that night.

During the interview

You need to provide the right documents in order for the council to be able to accept a duty to assist you. The process will be quicker if you provide a copy of your ID and notice of eviction/a letter from the person you have been staying with confirming you have to leave. For more information on the homelessness interview, you can visit the Shelter website at shelter.org.uk in the ‘How to apply as homeless’ section.

Will I receive temporary accommodation?

Following your interview, the Housing Options Officer will assess your circumstances and make a decision on whether you will be provided with temporary accommodation either today (if already homeless) or in the future (if you are due to become homeless).

If the council believe you are eligible, homeless and in priority need, you will be offered temporary accommodation.

If the council do not believe you are in priority need, temporary accommodation will not be offered, and details of local services will be provided.

The type of accommodation offered depends on the availability of accommodation in the area at the time. It could be a room in a hotel or B&B but where possible we will try and move you to self-contained accommodation as soon as something becomes available. Accommodation may also be provided outside of the area where you approached as homeless if nothing suitable is available locally. Your Housing Options Officer will discuss the options available with you.

If you refuse an offer of temporary accommodation, you may not be offered an alternative therefore we recommend that you accept any offer of accommodation. If you believe it is unsuitable, you can request a review of its suitability even after you have moved in.

The Council’s Temporary Accommodation policy sets out how the Council will meet its statutory duties and exercise its powers in relation to the provision (and withdrawal of) of suitable temporary accommodation for homeless households. This includes when temporary accommodation will be provided, and how different types of temporary accommodation will be allocated and prioritised.

If you have been made homeless outside of our normal working hours, we currently operate an emergency out of hours service within each area of North Northamptonshire.

An officer will assess your emergency and provide advice and assistance. Emergency accommodation will only be provided if the emergency cannot be resolved, and you are eligible for accommodation to be provided.

You can contact us via 0300 126 3000 where you will be directed to the emergency out of hours service for your area.

There are a variety of support organisation that may be able to help you.

The Homeless Reduction Act 2017 came into effect in April 2018 and placed further duties on Local Authorities to support household who are eligible and homeless, not just those with a ‘priority need’.

The Homeless Reduction Act 2017 came into effect in April 2018 and placed further duties on Local Authorities to support household who are eligible and homeless, not just those with a ‘priority need’.

Public bodies such as hospitals, prisons, the Jobcentre, social services etc. are required to refer individuals or families that are homeless or threatened with homelessness to the Local Authority to make sure they receive the advice and support they require.

Prevention Duty

If you are threatened with homelessness within 56 days and are eligible for assistance, we have a duty to provide you with advice and support in order to try and prevent you from becoming homeless.

If you have been asked to leave by family or friends, received a notice from your landlord, have had a relationship breakdown or any other reason whereby you are at risk of losing your accommodation within the next 56 days, our Housing Options team will discuss your circumstances with you and establish whether we have a duty to provide you with support.

We may be able to help you through our homelessness prevention fund. Households who are owed the prevention, relief or main housing duties could be considered for a payment from the Fund. This payment may enable you to remain in your existing accommodation, secure alternative accommodation, or prevent or delay the provision of temporary accommodation.

We may also be able to help you secure a private rented property through our private rented sector access fund. This fund helps households who are owed the prevention, relief or main housing duties to secure suitable and affordable accommodation in the private rented sector.

Relief Duty

If you are already homeless and are eligible for assistance, we have a duty to provide you with advice and support to find alternative accommodation regardless of whether you have a ‘priority need’ or became homeless through your own actions (‘intentionally homeless’).

Our Housing Options team will discuss your circumstances and carry out enquiries into the reasons for your homelessness whilst supporting you to find alternative accommodation.

What happens next?

If we are unable to find you alternative accommodation to prevent or relieve your homelessness, and find you or your household to be in priority need and not intentionally homeless, we will be able to accept a Main Duty to you and will continue to work with you to find suitable accommodation.

The Discharge of Homelessness Duties policy sets out how the Council will seek to discharge its duties through offers of accommodation to homeless households (in both the social and private rented housing sectors) which must comply with the relevant suitability requirements.

If we do not believe you are in priority need, our duty to you will come to an end after the 56-day relief period.

If we believe that you became homeless as a direct result of something you deliberately did or failed to do, we will continue to offer you support to find alternative accommodation for a reasonable period (often a couple of weeks) after our duty comes to an end.

Last updated 15 March 2024